The recent COVID-19 outbreak has spurred a massive rise in online poker traffic around the world. With most licensed live gaming venues unable to continue operation, the shortage of live entertainment has been acute, with casual players turning to online poker as an alternative. In fact, some operators reported double or more traffic than before the outbreak. This sudden increase in online poker traffic is the result of several factors, not the least of which is the fact that many people in the affected regions are not aware of the existence of the disease.
Some sites cater to all levels of player. These include sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt, which cater to beginners and pros alike. Others, such as Bet365 and Bovada, have tables with lower stakes and limit the number of professional players who can join them. If you’re a recreational player, you’ll want to join a site that offers recreational play options, especially for new players. Several poker rooms have mobile apps and browser-based access.
New York is also in the process of legalizing online poker. It recently passed a bill authorizing 11 licenses for online poker for 10 years. If approved, New York would receive 15% of the revenue, similar to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New legislation for legal online poker has been proposed as recently as 2021. If successful, the legislation could provide favorable conditions for more states to regulate online poker. While it’s still early in the process, the benefits to both players and the state are substantial.
In order to begin playing online poker, you’ll need to download the appropriate software. This software takes up a minimal amount of memory, so it shouldn’t take long to download even on an archaic internet connection. Many poker sites also offer “no download” versions of their games, but these do not offer all of the features and options of the full download version. In any case, downloading the software will not interfere with your game play.
US online poker is unlikely to reach the popularity of offshore sites. Without regulation, US poker players would not be able to share tables with players from other countries. China has banned all forms of online poker, while India have their own segregated markets. Even European countries are only now starting the process of regulating their online poker markets. So, what can Americans do to ensure a fair playing field? The answer is a combination of laws and regulation.
One big advantage of online poker over brick-and-mortar casinos is the sheer amount of hands that are dealt each hour. If you’re lucky, you’ll only need to play a few hands a day in the casino to break even after tipping the dealer. By contrast, playing poker games online, you can play multiple tables and play as many hands as you want. In addition, online poker rooms typically have dozens of different types of games, including tournaments and cash games. You can find a game that suits your skills and preferences.